Producer Gilbert de Goldschmidt dies

Oversaw more than 40 films including 'Umbrellas'

Veteran French producer Gilbert de Goldschmidt, who oversaw more than 40 films including “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe,” died Jan. 1 in Switzerland. He was 85.

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Born in Berlin, De Goldschmidt grew up in France and left the country at the start of WWII, joining the U.S. Army where he produced films for the U.S. military under the Marshall plan. He started out working for producers Denise and Rene Tual, then created Madeleine Films in 1951 with help from American producers Peter Rathvon and Stuart Schulberg.

Partnering with Mag Bodard, he co-produced helmer Jacques Demy’s 1960s classics “Umbrellas” and “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” both starring Catherine Deneuve. With Yves Robert and Daniele Delorme, he developed successful comedies such as “Alexander,” “The Troubles with Alexander” and “The Tall Blond Man,” which was remade in the U.S. as “The Man with One Red Shoe.”

He teamed with Robert to produce commercial spots for French TV and to distribute several Monty Python films such as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “The Life of Brian.”

Among his other productions were Jean-Gabriel’s “The Wanderer” and the Oscar-nommed “Hoa Binh,” the first film directed by New Wave cameraman Raoul Coutard.

He continued producing French hits into the 1980s with “P.R.O.F.S.” and “The Gift.”

De Goldschmidt twice headed Unifrance film, the org which promotes French film around the world, in the early 1970s and the mid-1980s. he was also active in the French producers guild and served on the Cannes jury in 1983 and on the Venice jury in 1988.

Madeleine Films first started renting space at Les Dames Augustines studio space in Neuilly, near Paris, during the production of “The Young Girls of Rochefort.” De Goldschmidt’s company eventually purchased the production complex, which includes a screening room and editing and recording facilities.

He is survived by his wife, France, two children and four grandchildren.

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